Hull City in 2014/15 – Bruce still looking to earn his stripes

Read Everton in 2014/15 – Luk who’s spending now

Read Leicester City in 2014/15 – Can the Foxes maintain their momentum?

The Tigers’ return to the top flight, on paper, was a huge success. Steve Bruce ensured Premier League survival, which must have formed the crux of Chairman Assem Allam’s pre-season objectives. Big money was spent in January on strike duo Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long from Everton and West Brom respectively in a bid to consolidate the 10th position Hull found themselves in at the turn of the year. Curtis Davies, Robbie Brady, Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone all impressed as Bruce’s men excelled in the first half of the season, which included victories against Liverpool and Newcastle.

The Tigers, however endured a drastic change of form in the second half of the season winning only four games, drawing two and losing a staggering 13 matches in 2014. This poor form did coincide with an unprecedented FA Cup run, taking Arsenal to extra time in what was a memorable final, winning Steve Bruce many plaudits, despite the stuttering league performances.

Aims for the season ahead

Steve Bruce will surely be looking to shore up his defence, despite an impressive total of ten clean sheets in the league last year. Young Harry Maguire, who played against Hull for Sheffiled Utd in that thrilling 5-3 FA Cup tie, has been brought in alongside defensive midfielder Livermore on a permanent deal from Tottenham.

Going forward, Bruce needs to get Long and Jelavic connecting in the final third. The solid additions of Robert Snodgrass and the mobile Tom Ince can provide the service required to get the combined £14m strikers firing on all cylinders. An entire summer together will have given Bruce the time to help them gel and create a team hard to beat, although they must keep their concentration right up to May if they are to reach their potential.

Key summer signing so far

Jake Livermore. An understated choice, but you can’t underestimate the successful partnership the former Tottenham man formed alongside Tom Huddlestone in midfield last season. Livermore, per game, averaged a pass completion rate of 83% (compared to 87% achieved by Everton’s Gareth Barry), won 48.67% of his duels (Barry managed only 46.94%) and averaged 1.44 interceptions (Barry achieved 1.59). These stats show the quiet but crucial role he has to play in this team in protecting the back four, and he still has plenty of development ahead of him.

Predicted finish: 11th

I expect Steve Bruce to learn from his mistakes during 2014, and not let his team suffer from complacency as they did last year, so I’m forecasting a solid mid-table finish. Tom Ince can provide excitement and drive from out wide, while Snodgrass will add creativity and power to an already physical midfield. Messrs Long and Jelavic will also have plenty to prove to their doubters.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Read Hull City in 2014/15 – Bruce still looking to earn his stripes […]

  2. […] Read Hull City in 2014/15 – Bruce still looking to earn his stripes […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: